EXCLUSIVE: Phone Calls From Home

Photos by Mary Martin – view the rest of our live PCFH photos here at our Flickr.

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A few days ago in Atlanta, Mary got the chance to catch up with PHONE CALLS FROM HOME.  These guys are centered in Massachusetts and have a growing fan base all over the US with their energetic, positive pop-punk.  They currently have out a self-titled EP and their latest disc, Connected – as well as a deluxe and acoustic version of the latter.  These guys are 100% committed to their music, and getting out a positive message to teens.  Read on to hear more about these guys and what they have in store for their future.
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Mary Martin: Let’s start off with who plays what instrument.

Jeff Gowan: I play guitar.

Danny Stockman: I play drums.

Dave Place: I play bass and sing.

Jason Vieira: I play guitar.

MM: What is a brief history of the band?

DP: Well, Zach and I have been playing ever since junior high, and Jason went to high school with us, so last year we taught him how to play the guitar.  And we met Danny a year ago playing a show in Birmingham, and when our drummer left we remembered Danny and his talents so we asked him to join the band.

MM: What is the writing process for your songs and how to you get inspiration for the lyrics?

DP: For most of our songs, or on the last CD really I just kind of… sparked most of the songs, and wrote most of the original melodies and chord structures, and Jeff and I would kind of work together to finish the songs.  Lyrically the inspiration, I don’t know… I mean, most people would just write about love or loss I guess, so we have some songs like that.  But I like to write at least a third to half of them about things that actually help people, things that people can relate to more than just a relationship.

MM: What has been your weirdest fan experience so far?

DS: Well, I don’t think this was really weird but it was kinda fun.  But one of our last shows in New York, this group of girls came up and asked if I wanted to play this game Ninja.  And so we all got in a circle and took a bow, and then you pick a fighting pose and you have to move in quick, swift movements, and if you hit their hand then they’re out.  So when it’s down to the last two you bow again and just battle.  And it was kind of weird but it was really fun.  And then at the end one of the girls proposed to me, which was really funny.  It was really cool though.  I don’t know, I think it’s hard for something to be really weird to me.

MM: What’s the most memorable show that you’ve played so far?

DP: I really liked the show in Austin with Forever The Sickest Kids.  The venue, Emo’s, is really cool – it’s half indoor and half outdoor, so it’s more like a festival type scene, and it was just packed.  And Austin’s like the music capital of the world, so it was great just being able to play there.

MM: On that same note, what’s your favorite city to play in?

DP: I like playing in New York City because of the people, but not really because of anything else, like the traffic and the parking.  I like playing in Austin, Texas.  Nashville, Tennessee is really nice too.  There’s some towns that are just music towns and everyone knows it.

MM: Most embarrassing on-stage moment?

JV: I fell on stage the other night.

ZG: Well it was more than just a fall, you fell on stage and then, like, rolled off stage. (laughs)

DP: There weren’t many people so he like jumped off the stage and then hopped and ran back on, but just kept on going.

JV: And as I was turning, I started tripping over myself, so then I slammed into the floor and rolled into this weird, like, hole in the stage.  I don’t know, it was weird.

DP: Yeah, but we kept on playing though.  Everyone just loved it.  We spent like five minutes just talking about it on stage.  The sound guy chimed in too, he was in the back with his own microphone and speakers and everything.  It was hilarious.

DS: Dave literally stopped singing and was laughing for the rest of the song.  It was just music, there wasn’t any singing.

DP: People thought that he was unconscious, there were about two or three people that just ran up like, “What’s going on here?”

JV: Well, because, I couldn’t move for a minute. (laughs)

ZG: He was in shock like, “What just happened?”

DS: And then the look on his face as he was falling was like he was just falling off a cliff.  It was awesome.

DP: And there was nothing anyone could do to help him either, everyone just watched! (laughs) It was hilarious.

MM: Your last CD Connected came out last year, so what are plans for now for the future, touring and material wise?

DP: Well we’re recording a new video next month, so we’re all excited for that.  Touring wise we hired a new booking agent in the spring, and she’s been doing really well for us.  We’ve got a Cute Is What We Aim For tour coming up, and in the summer we toured with Forever The Sickest Kids.  So we’re planning on writing in the fall and winter, pretty much whenever we don’t have a good tour lined up for us.  Because I mean we’re planning on writing in December or January but if we get a tour with a big band, then we’re not going to say no.  So we’re kinda playing it by ear right now.  But hopefully we’ll get a new CD out by mid to late spring next year.

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Interview by Mary Martin

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